The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Centre to issue directions to states and union territories for complying with payment of full wages to doctors and healthcare workers.
The three-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan directed the Centre to also issue direction to states to comply with providing accommodation to healthcare workers.
The court said that any doctors or healthcare worker involved with care and treatment of Covid-19 patients must be kept under quarantine for at least a week. It asked the health ministry to issue directions by Thursday.
The court also said that any violation by states will be treated as an offence under the Disaster Management Act and Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant).
The court has given a month’s time to the Centre for compliance after which the hearing will take place.
The top court had said last week that the country cannot afford to have “dissatisfied soldiers” in the war against the pandemic.
“In war, you do not make soldiers unhappy. Travel extra mile and channel some extra money to address their grievances. Country cannot afford to have dissatisfied soldiers in this war which is being fought against Corona,” the court had said during the hearing on June 12.
The bench also noted there are reports coming that in many areas doctors are not being paid.
“We saw a report that doctors went on strike. In Delhi, some doctors have not been paid for past three months. These are concerns that should have been taken care off. It should not require court intervention,” it had said.
On April 8, the apex court had observed that the doctors and medical staff are the “first line of defence of the country” in the battle against Covid-19 pandemic, and directed the Centre to ensure that appropriate PPEs are made available to them for treating coronavirus patients.